• Aftercare costs set to increase for thousands of parents. Aftercare costs for school children are set to climb by up to 40 per cent for many upper and middle-income parents, childcare providers have warned. New regulations due to come into force ahead of the new school year mean school-age childcare providers will be obliged to have one adult for every 12 children on their premises.
• Minister seeks to fast track creation of tribunal to tackle CervicalCheck claims. An Oireachtas committee is to seek legal advice about fast-tracking legislation to bring in a new tribunal to deal with claims arising from the CervicalCheck controversy. Minister for Health Simon Harris has asked the committee members to waive the usual pre-legislative scrutiny in order to speed up the process of setting up the tribunal. New figures show almost 65,000 women still waiting to receive smear test results.
• Bailey expects to be arrested under European warrant. Intervention urged following French court’s conviction for Toscan du Plantier murder. Verdict no surprise says Ian Bailey, who expects to be arrested for a third time.
• Science teachers criticise syllabus. Science teachers say a new science curriculum for pupils completing the junior cycle amounts to a “dumbing down” of the subject. The finding is contained in a report by the Irish Science Teachers’ Association based on a survey of more than 700 teachers. The report warns that the changes will provide “poor preparation” for study of science subjects at Leaving Cert level due to a widening gap between both programmes.
• Scouting Ireland to issue full apology for child abuse. Number of alleged abusers identified by Scouting Ireland increases to nearly 250. Abuse allegations made against figures who held senior positions in scouting.
• Gardaí suspended on suspicion of serious misconduct up threefold since 2016. Twenty-one members of force sidelined last year – up from nine in 2017. Several high-profile suspensions and investigations since the appointment of the new Commissioner Drew Harris in September last year.
• 124,000 students set to begin State exams. Leaving Cert to take place over record 15-day period to allow for new tests. Two additional days have been added to the exam timetable in order to minimise exam clashes, which means that the Leaving Cert will extend into the final week of June for the first time.
• Dublin City Council ‘affordable homes’ will cost from €116k Ballymun and Ballyfermot homes to be available to those on low and middle pay. The cheapest homes will be on the two Ballymun sites, where the council proposes one-bed apartment will cost €116,000, two-bed duplexes and houses will cost between €148,00 and €168,000 and three-bed duplexes and houses between €176,000 and €200,000, and a four-bed house €232,000.
• Major oil leaks from ESB cables investigated. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is investigating the leakage of up to one million litres of insulating oil from underground electricity cables in Dublin over the last 20 years. Oil from ageing cables ‘potentially entering groundwater system under Dublin’.
• More than 760,000 foreign soldiers passed through Ireland in five years. Destination of troops passing through Ireland and Irish airspace between January 2014 and November 2018. USA: 385,265; Germany: 184,435; Kuwait; 133,762; Other: 63,382. Some 25 flights carrying explosives from the US and Afghanistan went through the State.
• Varadkar and US president share concerns about Huawei security. Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said Ireland shares the United States’ concerns about Chinese telecoms giant Huawei as he met President Donald Trump in Shannon yesterday.
• Farms raided for horse meat investigation. Gardaí believe horses have effectively been smuggled into food chain in Republic. The Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) part of the investigation as suspected fraud is regarded as very lucrative.
Business and Economy
• Ryanair claims its is the greenest airline in Europe on emissions. Airline says its younger fleet with fewer empty seats are reasons for performance.
• Tax revenues up 5.7% to €21.7bn so far this year. Tax revenues rose 5.7 per cent to €21.7 billion in the first five months of the year compared to the same period of 2018 but were €253 million below the Department of Finance’s target.
• Counterfeiting and piracy cost Ireland €900m in sales. Piracy losses amount to 54% of total Irish sales, according to an EU report released last week. Analysis of 11 key business sectors, as part of a wider report by the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) estimates piracy loses at €909 million in Ireland, equivalent to 5.4 per cent of total sales. This represents €192 per citizen per annum, according to the report.